Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

St Piran's Cross

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

St Piran's Cross
Reuben Freemantle  www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com
Reel   3 x 48 bars   3 Couple Repeat  3 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-4       2s quarter petronella to the centre line;

  5-8       all quarter petronella, 2s finishing on opposite sides, 1s 3s on the centre line facing partners, Ls above Mn;

  9-16     kilt pin reel on the centre line:

      9-10 1s3s dance one quarter of a reverse reel of 4 on the centre line WHILE 2s set facing each other;

    11-12 1M 3L chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to 2nd place on own sides WHILE 1L3M complete the path of the reverse half reel of 4 (but with no dancer approaching) WHILE 2s advance to take left hands;

    13-14 1M 3L continue to chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to the centre line, 3L at the top, 1M at the bottom, WHILE 3M 1L chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to 2nd place on own sides WHILE 2s turn halfway by the left to finish each facing his/her own position as at bar 8;

    15-16 3L1M advance and turn ¼ by the right to finish on the centre line, facing opposite sides, WHILE 1L 3M continue to chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to the centre line and 2s dance out to finish with 1L 2s 3M in their positions as at bar 8;

17-24     kilt pin reel across the set, as bars 9-16 but rotated one quarter, clockwise:

    17-18 2L3L1M2M dance one quarter of a reverse reel of 4 across the set WHILE 1L3M set facing each other;

    19-20 3L 1M chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to the centre line, 1M at the top, 3L at the bottom, WHILE 2s complete the path of the reverse half reel of 4 (but with no dancer approaching) WHILE 1L3M advance on the centre line to take left hands;

    21-22 1M 3L continue to chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to 2nd place on own sides WHILE 2s chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to the centre line, 2L at the top, 2M at the bottom, WHILE 1L3M turn halfway by the left to finish each facing his/her own position as at bar 8;

    23-24 3L1M advance and turn ¼ by the right to finish side by side, 3L facing up, 1M down, WHILE 2s continue to chase anticlockwise around the corners' square to 2nd place on opposite sides WHILE 1L 3M dance out to finish with 1L 2s 3M in their positions as at bar 8;

25-32     repeat the kilt pin reel on the centre line, as bars 9-16 but starting with 3L facing up to 1L, 1M facing down to 3M;

33-40     repeat the kilt pin reel across the set, as bars 17-24 but starting with 3L 1M facing own sides and all finishing as at bar 8;

41-44     1s3s half reverse reel of 4 on the centre line, finishing 3M3L1M1L on the centre line, facing partners;

45-46     3s 1s turn ¾ by the left WHILE 2s cross by the right, finishing 3s2s1s on own sides, 3s facing out;

47-48     3s cast one place WHILE 2s step up, finishing 2s3s1s.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)


Dance Notes

This dance is intended to flow seamlessly from one figure to the next as far as possible so that, at the end of every phrase, the dancers are facing in the correct direction for the beginning of the next phrase.

  9-40     1M  3L are the dancing couple throughout these kilt pin reels.
All three couples are moving continuously, never stopping. As an aide-mémoire, at the end of each 8-bar phrase, 1L 2s 3M all reach and pass through their positions as at bar 8, only the 2s stopping at the end of bar 40.

  9-16     The kilt pin reel on the centre line is an 8-bar combination of a reverse half reel of 4 on the centre line with a chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square, 1M followed by 3M, 3L by 1L, 2 bars behind; 2s dance in to the centre to meet and turn so that 1s 3s can chase through 2nd places, unimpeded.

11-40     When chasing around the corners' square, maintain the rectilinear shape; take one step to reach the corner position and the second to reach either 2nd place or the centre line as appropriate.

15-16     Ideally, 3L1M follow the path of one quarter of a reverse reel of 4 (but with no dancer approaching).

17-24     The kilt pin reel across is an 8-bar combination of a reverse half reel of 4 across with a chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square, 1M followed by 2M, 3L by 2L, 2 bars behind; 1L 3M dance in to the centre to meet and turn so that 1M 2s 3L can chase across the set in 1st and 3rd positions, unimpeded.

23-24     As in bars 15-16.

25-32     This kilt pin reel is exactly as in bars 9-16 but starting with 3L facing up to 1L, 1M facing down to 3M.

31-32     As in bars 15-16.

33-40     This kilt pin reel is exactly as in bars 17-24 but starting with 3L 1M facing opposite sides.

39-40     As in bars 15-16.

43-44     1M 3L must continue the reverse half reel, resisting the temptation to chase around the corners' square.


Dance Notes

Laurence's alternative description of the St Piran's Cross form of Kilt Pin Reels from the dancer's perspective, starting from bar 9.
The dancing couple (1M 3L), starting facing partners, dance ¼ of a reverse reel of 4 up and down on the centre line, then chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to the centre line and turn by the right ¼ in the centre of the dance to finish facing own sides.
The dancing couple then dance ¼ of a reverse reel of 4 across with 2nd couple, then chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to 2nd place on own sides and turn by the right ¼ in the centre of the dance to finish 1L facing up, 1M down.
The dancing couple then dance ¼ of a reverse reel of 4 up and down, then chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to the centre line and turn by the right ¼ in the centre of the dance to finish facing own sides.
The dancing couple then dance ¼ of a reverse reel of 4 across with 2nd couple, then chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to 2nd place on opposite sides and turn by the right ¼ in the centre of the dance to finish 1M facing up, 1L down, as at bar 8.
WHILE
The dancing couple's partners (1L 3M) perform a reverse half reel of 4 up and down on the centre line and then chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to finish as at bar 8.
The dancing couple's partners then set to each other and turn by the left to finish as at bar 8.
The dancing couple's partners perform a reverse half reel of 4 up and down on the centre line and then chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to finish as at bar 8.
The dancing couple's partners then set to each other and turn by the left to finish as at bar 8.
WHILE
The 2nd couple set to each other and then turn by the left to finish as at bar 8 (2nd place on opposite sides).
The 2nd couple then perform a reverse half reel of 4 across and chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to finish in 2nd place on opposite sides.
The 2nd couple then set to each other and turn by the left to finish in 2nd place on opposite sides.
The 2nd couple then perform a reverse half reel of 4 across and chase anticlockwise halfway around the corners' square to finish in 2nd place on opposite sides.

(Dance Notes by the deviser, Reuben Freemantle)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Information

This dance is so-named because it is a close derivative of the dance St George's Cross with the reverse form, Kilt Pin, rather than Sash Pin reels.
St Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall; his flag has a white cross on a coloured ground (black in this case), the reverse of St George's coloured cross on a white ground.

The earliest known description of the flag as the Standard of Cornwall was written in 1838.
The flag is attributed to Saint Piran, a 6th century Cornish abbot. Saint Piran is supposed to have adopted these two colours from seeing the molten tin spilling out of the black ore in his fire during his supposed discovery of tin in Cornwall, thus becoming the patron saint of tin miners.

Saint Piran's Cross Flag Image
St Piran's Cross


Dance Information by the deviser, Reuben Freemantle.
Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Saint Piran's Flag article on Wikipedia.
Additional search terms: Saint Pirans.

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